Build a brand on a Sunday League budget

Being talented isn’t always enough: the very best also aim to exploit their full potential by becoming more than a player

1 Make a mark, stylistically
The ‘lumbersexual’ look will be the key trend of 2015, says Kerry Potter, contributing editor of Elle. “There are plenty of characterful pieces around. Try a cashmere jumper, floral Converse, a cool bomber jacket, brogues, a fedora or a rakishly knotted scarf – small, stylish touches that won’t scare the horses, or your girlfriend. Wear with confidence.”
2 Get the haircut right
“The key trends this year are going to be very tailored, well-kept and structured looks, with super-tight edges,” explains snipper Andy Smith, creative director at the Real Hair salon in Chelsea. “In order to stand out, I’d go for contrasting textures or a slightly ‘wedgier’ shape – think Neymar.”
3 Get your boots personalised
Increasingly, players are using personalised boots, says Rob Hughes, Adidas football’s global PR and social media director. “Kid’s names or messages connected to their club or city are popular,” he says. But the current trend is for “personalised icons reflecting their identity – they show the connection between ‘brand’ and player”.
4 Boost your social media profile
“Amateur football is a small world, so get to know the tech-savvy people who act as the voice of various leagues,” suggests George Ryan, senior creative director at digital branding agency Dare. “They can reach a large number of people. Nothing gets followers quicker than giving us a laugh. Is there a puddle? Push your mate in it. Try to get pics and Vines shared, and use the right hashtags.”
5 Be seen in the right places
Blagging into footballer’s hangouts, such as Boujis or Mahiki, is an artform. “Never say you know the manager – this can be easily checked,” recommends Steve Phillips from PR firm Carry On Press. “Think bigger. Claim you’re the deputy president of the Romanian FA. Make staff feel doubting you might cause a diplomatic incident.”
6 Body language
Top players ooze confidence and charisma. “To recreate this, it’s all about the way you carry yourself,” says body language expert Robert Phipps. “Adopt an upright posture, a wider gait, and hold your head just above horizontal. Acting confident actually makes you confident and releases endorphins, because the brain and body have a bio feedback mechanism. Go for open, outward body language.”

For more football tips see:
What your look says about you
Optimist or pessimist?
Appraise your game

More after the break

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